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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mukono Hospital

As the six of us Drake students toured Mukono Hospital with an administrator, it was apparent hospitals in the United States were much different from those in Uganda. In comparison to other hospitals in the surrounding area, Mukono Hospital’s sanitation and conditions are considered to be average. The various wards were separated into different sections throughout the hospital, but the wards were filled with openness with many beds separated only with a curtain that did not provide privacy. Despite this, many of the patients were happy to be receiving the care from these educated professionals along with the quality level of sanitation that was present.  Because of the high population in the area, it was unexpected to see there were empty beds throughout. I thought it was surprising to see how many services the hospital provided for the community: dental, oncology, maternity, radiology, and general care just to name a few.
One of the main goals of the hospital is to save lives and treat all of the patients who come regardless of their economic state. Because of this policy, patients receive the care needed and then pay upon discharge. If one is unable to pay for their treatment, they are let go without debt. This allows everyone to take advantage of the healthcare provided which enables a more sustainable community. It’s heartwarming that Mukono has valued saving lives over the cost of treatments.

With this idea of providing care to everyone, the challenge of funding is visible. Roughly 60% of their funding comes from patient payments. To meet the demands of some of the patients, the hospital is in the middle of building a second level onto a building which will provide private rooms at an additional cost.  In addition, many of their prescription drugs and equipment come from neighboring Joint Medical Stores and donations. Their HIV/AIDS drugs are administered through the government after receiving them from the CDC. To help with costs, the hospital does not provide food, water and bedding. This allows the hospital to allocate more of their funds to improving their sanitation and technology to provide more services for the community which will continue to improve the health of the community, leading to a more sustainable country.


  1. Even though I didn't go, I feel like this experience was very eye opening. It sounds like it is completely different from the United States, in regards to the bedding provided, payment methods, and also how the hospital is set up in regards to the different features it offers.

  2. Augusta- Like Morgan, I did not attend Mukono Hospital. I'm wondering how long people can stay there for free? Also, if they are not provided water and food, do you think they are really getting adequate healthcare?

  3. I was really amazed that one doctor primarily does all of the surgeries, averaging five per day! He obviously is a huge part of making the hospital successful. I think in order for Mukono to be sustainable in the long run, it will need to include other doctors who can share this responsibility so that it is not wholly dependent on one man for surgeries. I know this is probably something that is more easily said than done, and in the mean time I am so impressed by the work he does.

  4. Josie-- The patients pay at the end of their stay so they are entitled to stay for as long as they need. From there, if they cannot pay for their services the administration lets them leave without a debt. I think the most important part of the hospitals services is the actual care they are receiving. Because they have limited funding, I think its more important to get the care they need instead of providing food and water for the patients. If something has to go, I think water and food are what should be left behind, as terrible as it sounds, because they would be having the food they brought at home even if they were not admitted patients.

    Karli-- I think it is way harder to actually find someone who is willing to work these hours with such a high demand. As he is the director as well he understands the demand and is probably looking to find someone else who is qualified to do surgeries under that much pressure.